Bill Simmons: 'I'd Bet' Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving Sign with Knicks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Warrior won 128-100. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Although Kevin Durant has not given any indications of his free-agency plans, Bill Simmons is willing to "bet the house" that the Golden State Warriors superstar winds up in the Big Apple this summer.

"I'd bet it's Kyrie and Durant together," Simmons told Mike Francesa on WFAN on Wednesday (h/t NBC's Tommy Breer). Interestingly, Durant was a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast back in December.

New York now has a pair of max contract slots after clearing salary in the Kristaps Porzingis trade last month.

That deadline deal only added fuel to the Durant-to-New York rumors. Within a week, the 10-time All-Star made it clear to reporters that he has "nothing to do with the Knicks":

That has done little to quiet the noise, though.

In fact, speculation only grew when Durant and Irving were spotted chatting in a hallway during All-Star Weekend in Charlotte in February:

Ben Stinar @BenStinar

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last night 👀 (@jpizzy15 sent me the video) https://t.co/xKXT8MPnwm

Some believed Irving was talking about the Knicks having two max slots. While the Boston Celtics star did not reveal the nature of the conversation, he said that it was just him talking with one of his best friends:

Celtics on NBC Sports Boston @NBCSCeltics

Kyrie Irving sounds off after practice about all the speculation behind his video in the hallway with Kevin Durant 🔗 Click here for the full rant: https://t.co/NJpwuhHS0R https://t.co/f7tWzXnFvt

"This is the stuff that doesn't make the league fun. It doesn't make the league fun. ... It's my life, right? It's two people talking, having a conversation. If this was the real world would it be anybody else's business. But it's a video of somebody assuming what we're talking about. Making an opinion about it. So why would I care about it? ... What I do with my life is my business. So it's none of yours; it's none of anybody's. It's not anybody's business. ... Everybody wants to hear me talk like this. Everybody wants every athlete to talk about bulls--t like this. ... It just makes no sense."

Of note, Durant called Irving "one of [his] best friends" in a December 2018 interview with The Athletic's Shams Charania.

It's worth remembering that Irving told the TD Garden crowd back in October that he planned on re-signing "if you guys will have me back." That phrasing appeared to give him the flexibility to leave without breaking his word. Last month, he told reporters "ask me July 1" when asked if planned on re-signing with the Celtics.  He added, though, that Boston is "still at the head of the race."

A lot can change over the course of the next three-plus months. Both Durant's Warriors (50-23) and Irving's Celtics (44-31) are viewed among the top contenders in the NBA. The results of the postseason could go a long way in influencing their respective decisions.